Linden Industrial Association
Dear L.I.A. Member,
The next meeting of the Association will be at the Meeting Room at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, New Jersey, at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Our Guest Speaker will be The Honorable Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe, City of Rahway.
Please note your diary and confirm your attendance by e-mail to email@example.com, so that we may make the appropriate arrangements for breakfast. You should plan to have a substitute attend on behalf of your company if you are not able to attend. Please see the Minutes of the Linden Industrial Association Membership Meeting on November 20, 2018 below.
Calendar of Events
January 15, 2019 (Sponsored by Total Specialties, Inc.)
February 19, 2019 (Sponsored by A&M Industrial)
March 19, 2019 (Sponsored by Cox Printers & Digital Media)
April 18, 2019 Annual Dinner
May 21, 2019 (Sponsored by Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery)
June 18, 2019 (Sponsored by General Magnaplate Corp.)
Linden Industrial Association
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
LINDEN INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION
A regular meeting of the Linden Industrial Association was held on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at 8 a.m. at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, NJ, pursuant to written notice thereof duly sent to all members in accordance with the provisions of the Bylaws of the Association. The following were present:
Paul Abramson SolarKAL
Mayor Derek Armstead City of Linden
Joe Barbanel JREZ LLC
Chris Beriont Pennoni
Kathleen Burke A&M Industrial
Rich Callaghan Capitol Securities
James R. Coyle, Guest Speaker Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce
Wayne Cromwell General Magnaplate
William Degnan Linden Public Schools
James K. Estabrook, Esq. Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, PC
Stephan Flood Scomage Information Services Incorporated
Bernie Kordelski Total Specialties
June Lazaro Primerica
Juan Carlos Lopez NEMA Design
Alex Lospinoso LEDC
Janet Miller Cox Printers & Digital Design
Jim Mooney Minuteman Press
Eric Nowoslawski Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce
Bidisa Rai Trinitas Hospital
Nancy Sadlon Phillips 66
Eric Segal Security Business Solutions, LLC
Natalie Sesto Cogen
Vincent Spada Spencer Savings Bank
Jared Stadlin Linden Warehouse & Distribution Co., Inc.
Rebecca Tattoli Office of the Mayor
Our special thanks to Lois I. Bass, Karl Van Driesen and Infineum USA L.P., for their continued support of the Linden Industrial Association in sponsoring today’s breakfast meeting. A motion was duly made and seconded to approve the minutes of the membership meeting on October 16, 2018. The motion was unanimously passed.
President’s Report. President June Lazaro thanked all members in attendance for supporting the Kiwanis Club fundraiser, “Welcome Home Heros.” The purpose of the fundraiser was to celebrate those who served in the armed services.
The President also congratulated Mayor Derek Armstead on his reelection.
Program. President June Lazaro was pleased to introduce James R. Coyle, Executive Director, Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce to speak on the results of the mid-term elections. Mr. Coyle provided a disclaimer at the beginning of his presentation that he did not vote for nor support either President Donald Trump or the Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton for President and, in fact, voted for a third party candidate. Speaking as the President of the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Coyle focused his presentation on the current economic climate and the impact the midterm elections would have on the economic health of our local businesses. He started by reviewing the deep recession that the United States found itself in during 2008-2009. There was very slow economic growth thereafter, which has been referred to as the “deep meandering.” The Federal Reserve pumped money into the economy at literally zero interest rates while the Obama Administration was constantly putting the brakes on the economy through extensive legislative and regulatory requirements, including the Affordable Care Act, new labor regulations, environmental regulations and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
There was much greater acceleration, however, under the Trump Presidency with a growth in GDP of 3.2% in 2018. Further, unemployment dropped to 3.7%, which was the best unemployment number since the 1960’s. Labor demand remains high due to a significant reduction in immigration. International trade continues to go very well with the United States having more exports (largely fossil fuels including petroleum and natural gas) than imports.
The midterm elections resulted in 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats in the Senate, while the House turned to 232 Democrats and 200 Republicans with three seats still to be determined as of November 20, 2018. It appears that Nancy Pelosi, California, will be the Speaker, which the Republicans are in favor of since she has a lower approval rating than President Donald Trump. In the lame duck session of Congress between now and the end of the year, Mr. Coyle hoped that Congress would pass a longstanding Farm Bill which is necessary to maintain two essential functions. First, it contains a conservative goal of helping farmers financially in light of the tariffs and to help maintain an adequate food supply, and second, a liberal cause to fund Social Service Programs, mainly the Food Stamps for SNAP Program.
Subsequent to January 1, 2019, Mr. Coyle predicted that Congress will probably have gridlock with very little being accomplished, which is bad for business in our area. There are three Federal issues that should be addressed to help the local economy here in New Jersey. First, under transportation, the Gateway Project and general infrastructure needs to be addressed. This would best be approached by raising the gasoline tax, but there is no appetite at the Federal level to do that. So, it appears as though borrowing will be necessary to address the urgent infrastructure issues. Second, would be immigration reform, which likewise will probably not get done because it is a political football. It is composed of a multitude of parts that are played off against each other, including border security, DACA, refugees, immigration work programs and family and chain immigration. Finally, there is health care reform that is required. Although the Affordable Care Act was poorly thought out as evidenced by rates going up 25% per year on average, it does have particularly publicly attractive aspects, such as protection for preexisting conditions and extension of coverage for children up to age 16.
Under President Trump, Mr. Coyle expects that there will be finalized trade deals and that hopefully they will be more successful than they have been in the past, but it will be essential that for passage, the deals must be fair and equal to both sides so that both countries flourish in the arrangement.
In the State of New Jersey, Mr. Coyle pointed out that our employment rate is above the national average at 4.2% and our growth is substantially below that of the national average at only 1.0 of GDP. There are, however, growth areas; particularly in warehousing and retail fulfillment due to the State’s dense population, high income rates and the best intermodal transportation system in the Country. For instance, the Port area has seen a 7% increase in imports and exports while Newark Liberty Airport has seen a 7% increase in passenger traffic.
Due to a large anti-Trump backlash, the State of New Jersey has moved aggressively to the left, electing a very progressive Governor in Phil Murphy, and many of the Board of Chosen Freeholders and local Mayoral elections went Democratic that had never been Democratic before.
In the State of New Jersey in the upcoming year, Mr. Coyle said that the membership should expect a $15 minimum wage, but that should not have a significant impact in our local area as most jobs are paying that minimum wage already. However, in lower wage areas such as landscaping, retail and painting, that may have an impact on the cost of services.
Recreational marijuana should pass in 2019, which will put a big demand on warehousing space. The Tax Reform that was put through by the Trump Administration has not yet been felt by the business community here in New Jersey.
Environmental, Health & Safety. Co-Chairmen Joe Barbanel provided that at the end of the year all has been quiet in the areas of Environmental, Health & Safety. Air emission reports and the associated calculations need to be current and within the permit limits. As opposed to Mr. Coyle, Chairman Joe Barbanel hoped that the gridlock in Congress would result in a lack of action on the environmental front.
Government & Community Relations. Mayor Derek Armstead stated that NJ Biz had a great article about the 4.1 million square foot Linden Logistics Center which is to be located on 350 acres. The land has been dormant for over a quarter of a century. According to the development partners, Advance Realty and Greek Development, Tremley Point Road boasts over 100 million consumers within a day’s drive of the property, and hopefully this will jump start to Carteret Bridge Connection Project.
The Mayor also talked about the Airy Energy Project for processing of sludge. The City of Linden would gain about $370,000 in revenues from the Project. It is expected to be secured shortly with only a User Occupancy Agreement needed.
Mayor Armstead reported that he secured 70% of the votes and three positions on the Board of Education were secured. The Mayor is hoping that the Board of Education will work on the budget and spend more in the classroom than administration costs and legal fees.
Linden Economic Development Corporation. Director Alex Lospinoso reported that the study from 1979 prepared by LEDC discussed the Connector Bridge Project. With warehouses coming, we need that connector bridge to move forward. The project will bring in over 1,000 jobs. This is the number 1 priority for the City of Linden. Moving this forward will create the opportunity for our State government to finally step up to the plate and make the necessary enhancements to our heavily congested infrastructure that has been put on hold for decades.
Interest in Legacy Square continues; a hotel chain with a banquet hall is interested in coming to the site. The developer for the Park Plastic project will be designated tonight at the Council meeting.
Accura Builders LLC is the new developer of former JTG scaffolding property. Currently there is a delay with Elizabethtown Gas and expects the shovels to go into the ground shortly.
Phase 2 of demolition for the City Village Development Project has been started on St. George Avenue. There will be 114 units and 6 – 8 commercial units. Meetings will be held with the Roselle Mayor Dansero to jointly revitalize the area. Currently there are only 6 vacancies in Lifestyle 1.
On November 9th, Beautique Skincare on South Wood Avenue had a grand opening.
Rebecca Tattoli added the Santa Breakfast on December 1st is to be held at JTG center. Thanked Bernie Kordelski “Santa” and the LIA members who donated toys. Aviation Plaza car show raised money for scholarships and the Halloween parade was successful again.
Linden Public Schools. In the absence of Gregory Grasso, Bill Degnan thanked all for supporting DECA and the year book sponsors. The Linden High School website is getting a big makeover. Fall sports went well. Pineapple chart, a new system was created so lessons can be shared between teachers. It will encourage the staff to maybe try something different that works and facilitates communication. Attendance and lateness is always an issue. When late, students get attention the very next day. Reports will be sent to inform parents if students are late by the end of the first period.
Membership. Bernie Kordelski welcomed Juan Carlos Lopez from NEMA Design. Kathy Burke said a few prospects in the near future. June Lazaro added that Chris Lacancellera from Paychex who attended in October was interested in becoming a member. Membership packets are available if anyone is interested in attending. Annual membership dues are expected if needed.
There being no further matters, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at the Hampton Inn.
James K. Estabrook, Esq., Secretary